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Carrie: My Little Girl

Carrie was my little girl. The youngest of my three cats, she was also the smallest. I still remember the day my ex-wife brought her home.

She was absolutely tiny. When Jessie stepped into our front door, I got up from the computer to greet her, and could see that she was cradling something, but that something was so small that I couldn’t make it out. I walked across the room, and I was embraced my then-wife, I saw the tiny bundle of striped brown and grey fur she held in her arms.

And she was adorable.

Almost afraid to hurt her, I didn’t pet Carrie right away. I sat back down to my work at the computer (I believe I was working on writing something – of that I’m not entirely certain), and Jessie came over and placed the tiny Carrie in my lap. She was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. And she stayed in my lap, purring, for hours that afternoon. It was a wonderful bonding experience. As she quickly grew, she equally quickly turned into a feisty, rambunctious little kitten. The boys were not yet ours, but were frequent visitors to our house, and she absolutely terrorized both of them, but mostly Stripey, the older brown tabby. She chased him around the house, pounced him, and, despite the fact that he easily weighed 17 pounds to her 1 or 2, pinned him to the floor on his back. The poor guy just didn’t know what to make of this miniscule ball of mighty energy. And so he’d run away from her – his solution for everything, until he’d make it to the front door and beg to be let back out of the house.

She kept that energy and feistiness for years. She loved string – one of her two favorite play-things – and particularly loved to chase it as I dragged it behind me. She was the mighty huntress. And no other prey was as worthy to her as a slithering, dancing string.

Her other favorite play-thing was the plastic bag. She loved the way the crinkled, and that she could use it as a kitty cave, or wear it as a cape (which she would sometimes do, parading around the house with it flowing behind her). When I’d come home from shopping, it was the items I’d purchased in which she was interested, but the bags – she’d immediately pounce upon them after I’d emptied them, and relish in their crinkly goodness.

Carrie was also a Daddy’s girl. When not playing, she’d spend her time reposing as close to me as she could get. Though not a lap kitty, except in rare moods, or when it was very cold, she’d sit on the table right next to my laptop when I was working on it, or on whatever piece of furniture was immediately next to me. When we lost everything to the fire, and the bed that came with the room in which I know live proved to be too small, and no empty furniture next to it for her, she claimed the spot on the floor immediately next to me as hers.

She was a climber. When I still had furniture, she’d always make her way to the top of the tallest item she could. The wicker dresser – she’d leap to its top. The bookshelves – she’d find a way to reach their peaks. Nothing would stop her from taking her post surveying those of us below. What better way to be a fierce guard kitty?

And fierce she believed herself to be. She despised everyone who was not her Daddy, and was very vocal about it when company came over, growling and hissing at them the closer they came to her. Though she did refrain from striking them unless they dared to touch her – in that case, all bets were off. She also loved hidey places, and was always exploring looking for new ones. And if she could spy upon the happenings around her from her cover, superb. This really showed in colder weather, when she’d insist that I create a kitty cave with a blanket over may bent knees, into which she’d clamber and curl up. I actually really liked that – it was very intimate.

Her purr was musical – she trilled and it would go up and down the scales as she sang softly. And it was brought out the most by soft fleecy materials, which she loved to lick and knead as if they were her mother’s belly. Preferably with that same material on or next to me.

She was also an asthmatic kitty. All her life, she’d have these little coughing spells, that I at first chalked up to her hacking on a little hairball, though she’d never cough one up. They didn’t really seem to distress her too much, at least not until we got to Atlanta. It was this year where they became a real problem, and I had to take her to the vet when she had serious difficulty breathing. Some steroids helped get that mostly under control, but all through the summer her ability to breathe road a roller coaster as the air would fill with pollen and then the rains would wash it away. It had me worried every day when she had particular problems – that’s when the steroids would come out to give her that extra little needed boost to help her breathe.

It wasn’t the asthma that killed her, though.

She died on Wednesday, November 6th, after almost 2 days of serious illness. She hadn’t eaten for a couple days, was experiencing extreme nausea, and was dry heaving frequently. I hadn’t any money to take her into the vet to help her. And I’d gone to work the morning she died, hoping she’d make it until I could get home with a syringe, and the makings of an ion solution that I was going to attempt to feed her to get her the strength to pull through. I left work early that day, unable to focus for worry about her.

I didn’t get home in time.

I found her under the bed.

I miss my little girl.

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